How to treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne?

Finally able to get rid of those pesky pimples but were left to deal with those really annoying dark spots on your face. Don’t fret these dark marks eventually fade away with time but it might take 3-24 months! Fortunately there are some amazing products to help made them away much faster.  




Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), those dark marks or spots left behind after a pimple heals, can be even more aggravating and distressing than pimples themselves. PIH is discolouration of the skin that follows an inflammatory wound. It is the skin's natural response to inflammation.PIH can develop in all skin types, but it tends to be more severe and longer-lasting for people with medium to dark complexions. PIH affects both men and women equally.


But Why Do We Get PIH?


PIH develops when a wound or irritation, like a scrape, rash, or pimple, causes the skin to become inflamed. As the skin heals, it produces too much melanin. Melanin is the protein in the skin that gives the skin its colour. It's the excess melanin that darkens and discolours the skin.1 This discolouration remains even after the wound has completely healed.



Most people with acne have some degree of PIH. And it's not just the big blemishes that cause these spots: Hyperpigmentation can follow even relatively minor pimples and papules. Now that we know what is PIH and why do we get it let's move on to how to treat it.


Before you jump in and start treating your PIH, it is very important to know Your acne should be under control. Otherwise, each new pimple could cause another dark spot and you would never get ahead of the curve .


Over-the-counter (OTC) products can be helpful in fading more subtle marks. It’s the best choice to consider consulting a dermatologist for the For deeper marks or those that have been around for a long time.


  1. Vitamin C :



Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps keep both the inside and outside of your body healthy. It’s known by many names, including ascorbic or L-ascorbic acid.


L-ascorbic acid can help reduce the appearance of scarring and even out your skin tone by boosting collagen production.Vitamin C is considered safe for all skin tones.


Our Recommendation:


Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop: 

The Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop is the ideal product to breathe life back into your skin. It contains 5% Vitamin C, which helps tackle acne, scarring, hyper-pigmentation and brightens dulls skin. 

2) Niacinamide:


Niacinamide is an ingredient made from niacin (vitamin B-3). It’s commonly found in wrinkle creams and other anti-aging products because of its ability to aid in water retention. It can also increase collagen production.


Our Recommendation:


The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

What’s not to love about this cult favourite product. You can shop this at  Decoris.

3) Retinoids:


Retinoids are compounds made from vitamin A. Although they’re considered tried-and-true remedies in the anti-aging skincare world, there are also certain products used for acne and related hyperpigmentation. These work by going deep beneath your skin to even out skin tone and texture.


Topical retinoids work by increasing the rate of cell turnover and are typically used as an acne treatment. However, because of the high cell turnover, it also works well to help fade dark spots caused by hyperpigmentation. 


4) Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) :


AHAs that act as exfoliants, they also work to lighten uneven pigmentation and smooth out skin texture. Lactic acid is the best researched AHA after glycolic acid, and is notable for being gentler, more hydrating, and more effective at treating sun damaged skin.


Our Recommendation:


The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA

Offering gentle – yet extraordinary – exfoliation with lactic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid) this lightweight serum stimulates cell regeneration to reduce pigmentation, diminish acne scars and age spots and improve overall skin texture.

5) Alpha Arbutin:


It works as an effective skin-lightening agent, fading pigmentation and spots caused by breakouts or sun damage. Alpha Arbutin blocks the activity of tyrosinase by slowing down the pigmentation  process caused by UV rays. This helps your skin keep dark spots and tan at bay.


Our Recommendation:


The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA

Supercharged with alpha arbutin (a safe skin-brightening ingredient that reduces melanin production), this high-potency, gel-like serum targets the look of hyper-pigmentation and dark spots to reveal more even, younger-looking skin. Also enhanced with hyaluronic acid, the serum delivers its advanced active ingredients deep into skin.

6) Sunscreen:


Can sunscreen really help with hyperpigmentation? Just as it helps prevent skin cancer and signs of aging, sunscreen is one of the best treatments for hyperpigmentation. However, it has been found that combining sunscreen with other treatments can help give you faster skin improvements.


Our Recommendation:


Cosrx Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50 + PA ++50ml

Its gentle soothing formulation with aloevera leaf extract helps to soothe and moisturize the skin, while providing protection against harmful UV rays, plus it doesn’t leave any white cast or greasy residue, making it a great option for all skin tones.